Tag Archives: life

Do you have to change your entire life to become a writer?

2017-08-17

Becoming a writer tends to be a gradual process. Usually, it takes time to learn the craft, decide what kind of writing is the most attractive, find a way to publish the works, and see if writing can be the one and only work to make a living. Because it is a gradual process, the method of working, the tools, and the working environment are typically discovered along the way.
Woman leaning on pile of books
An excellent article by Ayodeji Awosika suggests that aspiring writers must give up 7 things in order to become published and successful.

He makes valid points on what it generally requires from an aspiring writer to develop into a published writer. Here are the 7 points Awosika makes.

You have to give up your:
1. Entitlement. Especially, in the beginning, you are not entitled to anything. You have to fight for everything.
2. Romanticism. There are plenty of romantic stories of authors and how they have achieved their success, but they are never the full story.
3. Fear of marketing. No matter which publishing path you choose, you will have to market yourself and your work.
4. Time. Becoming a writer can take years.
5. Need for approval. In the beginning, genuine approval is difficult to get.
6. Laziness. Writing means a lot of work.
7. Excuses. If you want to become a writer, there are no excuses for doing something else.

If I had to list only 3 things that are required to developing into a writer, they would be the following:

Time. You have to allocate plenty of time for writing. It means you must give up something else, like watching television, playing video games, hanging out at cafés, shopping, or anything else that doesn’t add value to writing.
Perseverance. Writing is a long-term decision. Learning the craft, getting a work published, achieving sales never happens overnight. It is really amazing how disciplined most writers are when it comes to their work.
Continuous learning. No one can say that he or she completely masters the craft and business of writing. It is not only the techniques of writing that require continuous learning, but also work methods, processes, marketing, business, and tools.

So, many things in an aspiring writer’s lifestyle should change in order to make room for everything that writing requires.

Quick and easy tips for street photography

2016-11-17

After I saw a large exhibition of works of Henri Cartier-Bresson two years ago, I realized that there are so many techniques for taking photos on city streets. It looked like Cartier-Bresson had agreed with some people that they are being photographed. They should continue whatever they were doing without having to pose, the photographer may have told them. It was obvious, however, that Cartier-Bresson had taken many pictures without subjects noticing what was going on.

That’s the art of street photography – snapping frames without disturbing the flow of life and work on the streets.
tavira, portugal
Crowded places, sights, any places with lots of activity tend to be the easiest places to take authentic photos of people minding their own business. Experienced street photographers, like Eric Kim, have learned a few tricks how to take candid shots almost anywhere. He has shared 10 tips for street photographers in his blog here.

For instance, the video camera technique is something that I never thought of, but is an excellent tip. The idea is to move with the camera (for instance, rotate yourself like you were taking a 360 degree video) as many tourist camcorder shooters do. You, of course, only need to frame the true subject that you want to frame.

I have also noticed that taking photos with a smartphone is less intrusive than pointing a large lens of a SLR to a subject. When you frame someone with a smartphone, the subject tends to believe that he or she is not the centerpiece of your picture but it is something behind, above, or near him or her. It is also quicker to point and shoot with a smartphone – assuming you have the camera app already on, and you are looking at the screen like you were reading messages or looking at a map. From that position, it is very quick to raise the phone and snap a photo.

What about the situation when the photographer becomes the subject? Last year, in Lapland, I was being photographed from a distance. I noticed it because it was a noisy group of Chinese tourists, and at least one cameraman wanted to capture someone hiking. I posed, and other Chinese photographers joined the fun. As I walked closer, the photographer who started the whole thing wanted to take a selfie with me. It was an honor I couldn’t refuse.

sao bras de alportel, PortugalSao Bras de Alportel, Portugal.

The best European cities for digital nomads

2016-05-06

People who are unfamiliar with realities of the lifestyle of modern workers who live a mobile life, may think that these digital nomads roam the world staying where they like to stay, doing what they like to do. In reality, the modern nomads tend to carefully plan ahead where they stay for the next work period and where they get work to support their roaming life.
berlin, branderburger gateBerlin, Germany.

Which place is the best to live and work naturally depends on personal preferences. Someone appreciates safety, another wants to have the great outdoors nearby, someone wants to be near surfing opportunities, and low living costs is a must for someone else. Choosing a right place to stay and work for a few weeks or for a months is not easy, but there are many people out there who already have experienced it. Why not ask their opinion?

These cities digital nomads have ranked the best to live and work in Europe in May 2016 (by Nomad List, a dynamic ranking that changes according to votes cast by members):

1. Berlin, Germany
2. Lille, France
3. Gothenburg, Sweden. Download a travel guide to Gothenburg and Sweden’s West Coast here.
4. Bristol, UK
5. Nice, France. Here is a travel guide to Nice and the French Riviera.
6. Munich, Germany
7. Leiden, Netherlands
8. Leicester, UK
9. Leeds, UK
10. Aveiro, Portugal

gothenburg, sweden

Gothenburg, Sweden.

The ranking is based on quality of life, fun stuff to do, cost of living, safety and air quality. It was published at Nomad List that doesn’t specify how many votes have been cast for the cities, so we are not sure how representative the ranking is, but it surely gives pointers to anyone planning for the next destination.

In many other quality of living rankings and the best European cities to live in reports, places like Copenhagen (Denmark), Lisbon (Portugal), Zurich (Switzerland), Barcelona (Spain), Dublin (Ireland), and Bordeaux (France) have been ranked high. Many of these rankings have been produced by sitting behind a desk in an office somewhere in London or New York and applying statistics data to calculate the results. The ranking by Nomad List is produced by people who live the mobile life, so it is not surprising that the results are different.

A remarkable thing in this top 10 list is that there are small and medium-size cities in the list. For instance, Aveiro and Lille are rather small cities compared to truly big cities like Barcelona or Berlin that often rank high.

If you are looking for a place to stay in your next destination, here are tips and services that can help you.

Nice, France.

Nice, France.


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